Penn State Women’s Hockey Weekend Preview: Sept. 30
No. 14 ranked Penn State women’s hockey is starting off the season 1-1-0 after a split season with the No. 3 ranked Wisconsin Badgers at Pegula Ice Arena.
The Nittany Lions had a great season opener by lighting the lamp four times in a 4-1 victory over the Badgers with offensive power. However, they struggled severely in game number two by losing faceoffs, failing to clear their defensive zone and being defeated in major game deciding puck battles, which led them to take a tough loss 9-1.
However, Penn State moves up to the No. 11 ranked team in the nation by USA Hockey heading into its next games.
Freshman Tessa Janecke was named CHA Rookie of the Week after tallying two goals and one assist in her college debut against the Badgers.
Another offensive threat for the Nittany Lions was junior forward Kiara Zanon who gathered two goals to start the season scoring one in each game against Wisconsin.
Defenseman Rene Gangarosa also contributed to the scoresheet in the season opening series by collecting two assists, giving scoring opportunities for her teammates to find the back of the net.
Goalie Josie Bothun had an excellent first game leading Penn State to their first victory of the season by stopping 27-of-28 shots faced. She ended the game with a 1.00 goals-against average and recorded a .964 save percentage to start her junior season.
In the following game a lot of puck battles did not go the Nittany Lions way which led Bothun to struggle in the second game of the season by letting in five goals. She stopped 28-of-33 shots she faced but her goals-against average rose to a 3.36 and her save percentage lowered to .902.
Penn State Head Coach Jeff Kampersal even looked to his backup goalies Katie DeSa and Annie Spring but to no avail as Wisconsin was just too much of a powerhouse team.
Heading into this weekend, the Nittany Lions are set to face the No. 5 ranked Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs on Friday, Sept. 30 at 4 p.m. and the St. Lawrence Saints on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 2 p.m. in Canton, New York.
Penn State will aim to bounce back after failing to get the job done in game two of the season. If the Nittany Lions want a fighting chance against the Bulldogs, they will have to stay out of the penalty box and make sure to take control in the faceoff circle.
Penn State needs to take advantage of every opportunity it gets, make sure that its forecheck and backcheck is on par, put shots on goal and if the Nittany Lions do find themselves on the penalty kill, they are going to have to win the net battles to make sure Bothun is not screened and clear the puck.
Christopher Machado is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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